Lego-Friends-Heartlake-Stables She spends hours with them. Literally hours. And, apparently she is not alone. Lego Friends have captured the heart of my daughter, as well as thousands of other school-aged girls across the country. In fact, the Lego Friends series has been a financial boom to the Lego corporation in just a few months. The Friends series is essentially pastel colored building ...

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The sweat coalesced on my forehead.  I leaned forward to push the weight of my body into the wheel chair.  I was terrified.  Behind me strode the baffled parents with their arms full of coats and scarves.  The young boy shrunk into the chair and balanced his IV'ed arm on the rest, trying not to disrupt the tubing that had been so painfully inserted. I was lost. A week into my rotation as a volunteer ...

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These days, there is a lot of talk about expanding scopes of practice for the group of folks who used to be called physician extenders and then midlevel providers and more recently non-physician providers, many of whom are now getting degrees with the title “doctor” incorporated. While it seems to vary, these folks may include nurses, physician assistants (one day to be called physician associates perhaps), pharmacists, and more.   Lots ...

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In my work as an academic medicine education specialist, and, perhaps more importantly, in my experience as a patient, I have observed time and time again a common scenario.  I call it the grumpy  physician trickle down scenario. Here is how it plays out.  A physician, likely good-hearted, well-intentioned, competent, and compassionate, develops frustration with system operations (scheduling, inefficiencies, miscommunication, the list goes on).  The physician internalizes the frustration, perhaps believing ...

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As a Swede, I know all about socialized medicine. I grew up with it and I learned my trade in it. I worked under budget constraints, treatment protocols and formularies in the late 70′s and early 80′s while American doctors were essentially practicing the way they wanted here. I remember one of my surprises when I arrived in this country: I had learned in medical school that trimethoprim-sulfa was the drug ...

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soda I’m sad that a New York judge struck down the 16-ounce size limit for sodas and some other sweet drinks.  I think Mayor Bloomberg had the right idea. I get that whole personal freedom argument (although the court just said that it was arbitrary and out of Bloomberg’s purview), that this was a “nanny state” idea. But honestly, when it comes to obesity, ...

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We doctors who specialize in psychiatry have a sacred trust. We are given the opportunity to talk to people who are hurting every day, people who trust that we will listen to them, try to understand them, not laugh at them, and not think that they are stupid, crazy, or horrible. A tall order, granted, given that we hear stories that sometimes border on the unimaginable, bizarre and otherworldly. This ...

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Do you know anyone who has tried to find an internist recently? Good luck. Internists are either overflowing with patients, switching to retainer medicine, switching to hospital medicine or quitting. Internists are frustrated, burned out, and unhappy with the external transformation of our wonderful profession. We spend 20 years in school, and then 3 years of residency training. We learned to think and apply our cognitive expertise to the diagnosis and ...

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Everybody hates curbside consults – the informal, “Hey, Joe, how would you treat asymptomatic pyuria in my 80-year-old nursing home patient?”-type questions that dominate those Doctor’s Lounge conversations that aren’t about sports, Wall Street, or ObamaCare. Consultants hate being asked clinical questions out of context; they know that they may give incorrect advice if the underlying facts and assumptions aren’t right (the old garbage in, garbage out ...

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My interview series continues, this time with local litigation attorney Andrew Thompson, Esq. The topic this time is medical malpractice. I asked him a bunch of questions. He answered. See what you think. 1. In your opinion, is there a medical malpractice crisis in this country? No. This is not even a close issue. The concept of a “crisis” or dramatic increase in the number of medical malpractice cases is ...

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